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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Teens

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular type of psychotherapy that can be used to treat a wide range of mental illnesses.

It can be helpful in treating phobias, anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, and addiction, among other things. CBT is commonly used to treat adults but can be a good treatment option for troubled teenagers as well.

Typically, CBT is a short-term treatment option where a patient meets with a mental health counselor for a limited number of sessions to focuses on one specific behavior or issue at a time. The patient learns how to identify and change thought patterns that can cause negative emotions or behaviors. The basic concept is that a person’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions can directly influence how they behave. When the person learns to control those thoughts, the negative behaviors can become less frequent or even disappear completely. The main goal of CBT is to teach patients that they can take control of their thoughts and that they have the power to change their own behaviors.

Because CBT is short-term and not long-term, it can be much more affordable than other types of therapy. If your teen is not covered by insurance, CBT is a good option that can have very high success rates while costing much less than longer-term options. There are many different types of CBT. While they all take different approaches and center on slightly different beliefs, the overall concept of each is the same. They all focus on identifying and altering an individual’s thoughts in order to alter the individual’s behavior and actions.

Types of CBT

  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy – centers on changing irrational beliefs
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy – uses strategies such as mindfulness to address specific thought patterns
  • Multimodal Therapy – centers on addressing seven modalities which are: imagery, cognition, interpersonal factors, drug and biological considerations, affect, sensation, and behavior.

The CBT Process

  • Functional Analysis – identifying problematic or faulty beliefs
  • Learning how thoughts, feelings, and situations can contribute to negative behaviors
  • Focus on the behaviors themselves
  • Learn and practice new skills that can be used in real situations to combat the negative thought patterns
  • Practicing conversations
  • Making goals for the bigger picture

Our thoughts and feelings can compound and solidify our beliefs, and when our beliefs are faulty, this becomes a real problem. Because a teenager’s brain is still developing, they are hyper-sensitive to their outside environments. Due to this, anxiety, depression, addiction, and many other types of disorders are common in teens. Luckily, the same things that make teen’s extra susceptible to mental illnesses are the same things that make treatments like CBT effective in teens. Because they are not fully matured, teens are more easily able to modify and correct their negative thoughts and, in turn, their behaviors.

For Information and Support

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact an individual for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769.

References

  1. verywellmind.com“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Process, Types, Components, Uses, and Effectiveness”. Cherry, Kendra. June 27, 2019.
  2. psychologytoday.com“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”. Anderson, Scott C. 2019.